Working the Resume

If you have ever had a job or wanted one chances are that you have probably written a resume or a cover letter at some point throughout your adolescence. I remember sitting in Careers and Civics class in grade ten learning about “Relevant Experience” and what fonts are most appropriate for your cover letter and thinking to myself that the class was pretty useless. I already had a job and my resume-writing skills had been good enough to land myself two jobs since I was old enough to have one! My 15-year-old brain had decided that I had mastered the art of getting a job, no need to pay attention… Ha. I couldn’t have been more wrong.

My approach to writing cover letters had a simple and successful algorithm; “Hello, Sir/Ms, I am Madeline. I want to work for you because… You should want me to work for you because… Hope to hear from you.”

But when I started university, it came as a shock to me when three job opportunities came and went in the first two months of first year.

I needed a job and so using my old resume tricks, I was able to land a position at an espresso bar near campus. Sure, I had lots of food industry experience, heck I could make a double shot, no foam, skinny, extra hot latte with my eyes closed but being a barista for another year wasn’t what I wanted.

A GIF of a snobby girl saying "I like my pumpkin spice lattes extra hot!"

Ah, the joys of customer service.
– Taken from

What I wanted was a job at the university to expand my job experience, but it was becoming clear to me that my resume and cover letter were simply not cutting it.

This is how I landed myself at a resume workshop put on by the Career Centre on a Wednesday night of last year. There was a summer job being offered at my residence building that I was determined to get and I was not going to let my resume hold me back.

I cannot stress how helpful the workshop was. As a group, we were guided through the differences between a good and an excellent resume, how we could showcase our own skills and previous work experience, what made a work or volunteer experience relevant and how we could strategically write a cover letter that won’t be tossed to the side.

I learned that it’s okay to have a two page resume (but only two!), that it isn’t childish to include high-school experience if it is truly applicable to the job you’re applying for and that it is crucial to write an all-new cover letter for each position you’re interested in. We were given a lot of free resources on resume building and even examples to use as a template. It was probably one of the best uses of a Wednesday evening I can think of to date. Best part? I got the job. 

- Taken from

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If you are struggling with writing a resume/cover letter or just need some guidance in updating your job-getting strategies the Career Centre is an amazing resource that you can take advantage of for free. 

If you don’t have the time to go to a workshop, the Career Centre website has a lot of great tips and resources that you can easily access, including a printable resume toolkit, online guides and pointers on how to land a job while in university and once you’re out in the workforce.


My work-study: How U of T can help you find a job while in school

Selfie of me drinking Starbucks

I spend an outrageous amount of my savings on coffee. Like the one Kevin made in a previous post, this is a coffee selfie. A coffie???

The financial struggle is something most students can relate to. Between tuition, textbooks, rent, utilities, FOOD, and oh yeah, social outings, our expenses really add up. What’s just as real is the job-finding struggle. No one wants to hire you because you have no experience and you have no experience because no one wants to hire you. It’s a vicious cycle that gets you so desperate for any job that you start applying to places like local Portuguese bakeries being fully aware that you can neither 1. bake nor 2. speak Portuguese.

I have a part-time job as a sales associate and let me tell you, all the Buzzfeed articles titled “36 Struggles of Retail Workers” are 100% accurate. Don’t get me wrong, working in sales and services teaches you many important social skills! Like how to smile while watching someone, miraculously within 10 seconds, destroy a table of shirts you spent 2 hours folding.

A lot of young adults think that working at the mall is our first and easiest way in. I am here to enlighten you in hopes that you also consider other viable options for employment. One of the best things about being at U of T is having many different opportunities for all sorts of fields and interests.

Logo on the CLN website.
A great resource is the Career Learning Network, which contains a forum for both casual and professional job offers. Whether you’re looking for internships, work studies, volunteering, or just a fun job, CLN is always posting new openings online.

Logo on the Co-Curricular Record website.
The U of T Co-Curricular Record website also has tons of interesting listings!

If you’re feeling a bit overwhelmed, drop by the Career Centre for workshops or just helpful advice on where to start. As well, never underestimate the power of getting to know your profs and fellow students who may know of jobs that you could go for. Another tip: feel free to apply to as many as you want! You may get a lot of no’s, but all you need is that one yes!

Last year, I applied for work-study positions through the CLN website. I was a research assistant at the Centre for Addiction and Mental Health. I worked a decent amount of hours while still having time for school and learned a lot from the staff. Plus the things I did and learned were relevant to my longterm career goals so it was nice to be able to have that experience and also be getting that #cashmoneyflow. I even got to present a research poster and had my abstract published in a peer-reviewed journal! #startedfromthebottom #nowwehere 

A brick wall with a mural of big block letters and the words "You've Changed."

A mural done by local artist Jesse Harris. It is located on the wall facing the CAMH Queen St location and is a message of hope and positivity for patients living with addiction and/or mental health disorders.

Me standing next to a tri-fold board with my research poster tacked onto it.

ME! With my purple-themed and badly folded research poster at a conference that I was allowed to go to because of my work-study.

Besides financial and academic perks, I got to explore the neighbourhood of Toronto where I worked. The Trinity Bellwoods area is one of my favourite parts of the city, with free art exhibits, delicious food destinations, and a lovely park where I once so happened to meet Childish Gambino… but that’s a story for another time.

Towers, Dougland Coupland, MOCCA

A huge metal installation shaped like a toppled-over electrical tower.

The above images were taken at the (FREE) Douglas Coupland “everywhere is anywhere is anything is everything” exhibit at the Museum of Contemporary Canadian Art, right across from CAMH. The first is a huge LEGO installation while the second is supposed to be an electrical tower that’s been toppled over.

What have your job experiences been like? Would you consider applying for jobs through U of T? Leave me a comment or share with us on Facebook, Twitter, or Instagram!

A Conversation with a Friend about Life

Last week I met a friend for coffee. It was the end of summer that I saw him last — O how that winged tyrant flies! — and it was lucky because he’s graduated and he’s very busy these days. It was nice to see him, and we had a really good conversation.

We said the usual how are you doing, what’s new? And then my friend said, “I’ve applied for an internship with the Canadian Embassy.”

“That’s great,” I said. “Did you get it?”

“I haven’t heard yet. They said they’d contact me within two weeks for an interview.”

“I’m sure you’ll get it.”

“But what if I don’t?” he said. “There are a lot of people applying for it.”

“Do you think you will get it?”

“Well, I hope so.”

“What did the application require?”

“Write an essay and submit a cover letter and my transcripts.”

“Did you do all that?”


“Was your essay good? Did your cover letter say all that you wanted it to?”

“As much as it could.”

“And your grades are fine, right?”

“They’re okay. Yeah, they’re good.”

“So you did everything that you had to do, right?”


“Okay, then what’s the worry?”

Because!” he said. “Everyone will have done all that stuff, and there are like two positions.”

“But you did all that stuff,” I said.

“Yeah, I told you.”

“Okay,” and I went and refilled my coffee.

When I returned, my friend said. “What? So I’m just supposed to forget about it and leave it up to the Gods?”

I laughed. “Essentially.”

“But what if I don’t get it?”

“That’s out of our control at this point.”

“But that sucks,” he said.

I agreed. “But unfortunately, it’s the truth.”

Rather than allow this revelation to dampen our spirits, we started talking about the idea of diligence and determination, and asked the question: Do these qualities actually pay off in the end?

It’s something my friend is experiencing, and many of us, too, as we reach the end of our career at U of T. Will all of my hard work lead to a satisfying career? The conclusion my friend and I settled on (I’m sure we could have conversed longer and more inquisitively) is that, at some point along the road, the decision of whether we become doctors, lawyers, professors, authors, sports-stars, or even astronauts, will be out of our control. And what is most important is that we pursue our goals up to that point.

My friend did all that he could for his application. I’ve known him since first year, and it was never his plan to work at the Canadian Embassy. But once the opportunity arose, he applied himself to the utmost of his ability, rallying the full breadth of his university experience and education, dotting the i’s and crossing the t’s.

He did everything he could, and then surrendered to Chance. It’s funny that we recognize success only when its says, “You passed!” or “You’re hired!” or “Welcome aboard!” We fail to acknowledge that every day you go to class, by your own will, out of desire, or a sense of responsibility, is a triumph of our university education. Every time you commit yourself to learning, regardless of grades, is a success of your character and your development as a human being.

It sucks that four years at university doesn’t secure us a dream job. But being a university student means that we have the unparalleled opportunity to prepare and apply ourselves with every ounce of interest, intelligence, honesty, and strength that we possess to gain that desired career, before we throw our lives back into the hands of Chance.

My friend got an interview. I’m looking forward to seeing him again. Maybe we’ll have another great conversation.


‘Til then, stay diamond, U of T!

– Stephen.

Blue Sky

Last week, I talked about all of the LinkedIn knowledge that was handed to me from the Career Centre and a LinkedIn Recruiter, Perry Monaco. He mentioned something throughout the discussion that I found especially interesting, and it’s kind of stuck with me since. Perry gave some great advice, known as the “blue sky” concept. Be warned, it sounds simple, but I found it a challenge to do without having inhibitions or expectations interrupt the process. In fact, it took a few tries before I was able to clear my anxieties, which, let me assure you, as a particularly obsessive compulsive detail oriented individual, is no easy feat.

The first step is sitting down and thinking over, in some serious detail, what you would see as the ultimate kind of career, something you’d like to see yourself doing. And the importance (and reason) it’s called the blue-sky approach is because you’re not to set any limits. Of course, because it is November/the month of punishment before holiday cheer/everyday is a dark cloud day, I thought at first it was a little too dreamy. But the more Perry explained, the more it made sense. Ultimately, you’re setting goals for yourself, and creating an internal plan.

In reality, many recruiters and interviewers do actually ask this question, and I think it’s an even more important to ask as a student.  If someone were to ask me where I saw myself in the next five years, I must admit, my first thought would be “well, hopefully drinking less coffee…” which is not exactly the ideal blue sky picture. I mentioned the difficulty I had in picturing my own blue sky, much of which is undoubtedly linked to the fear of failure. Which brings me to this video, which I noticed floating around Facebook this past week:

Maybe it was the tone, maybe it was the music or maybe, just maybe it was the pictures. Either way, the video almost immediately made me think of the blue-sky concept. The narrator, Alan Watts, seemingly convinces you to lift all boundaries. In fact, it’s mostly the boundary, the one that in many ways, becomes our main source of $tress. Until I realized I was completely guilty of doing this, I mean it’s been pretty evident that it still remains a concern. But should it? Should money dictate what you want to do? I mean, for a long time I felt like unless I was planning on renewing my citizenship to the Lost City of Atlantic, it definitely needed to be considered. But I’m starting to wonder where I draw the fine line.

How much of a role does money play in figuring out what you’d like to do, or where you see yourself?


Working for the Weekend: Tips on Finding a Job on Campus

You might wake up every morning and feel like this. (I know the feeling, guys, believe me, I’ve had a nasty cold all week and even getting out of bed has been a struggle.) But even still, the reality is that every fall a bunch of us students look for part-time jobs to help pay for our expenses.

(Sorry, I couldn’t help but post this video. This song is fantastic.) Anyway, working during the school year can be achieved without bringing down your GPA. I’ve seen it done and done well. But I’ve also seen people completely break-down under the pressure of trying to manage too many things at once! It’s all about finding balance and completely mastering the art of prioritizing and time management. If you find the right job and learn to organize like crazy, working and studying is totally doable. And, in the process, you not only get some money in the bank but you get some real-life job skills to put on your resume and you’ll actually have banked up a few employers who can serve as references after graduation.

But of course, with the wrong job — the one that is too time-consuming; the one that has the nightmare boss; the one that gives you stress dreams where you wake up screaming and throw the covers off of yourself like they’re trying to steal your wallet or something — well, with those jobs, the work/study balance can be precarious.

I definitely endorse working and studying at the same time. I did it last year, and I think that it gives you a healthy dose of perspective on how you can make whatever you’re studying applicable to the real world. But the trick is to avoid those nightmare jobs whenever possible.

Working on campus is one of the best bets to avoid bosses like this. As a general rule, most on-campus employers understand that you’re a student, and they’ll be more likely to give you some leeway if, for instance, you’re in the middle of the mid-term schedule from hell.You’ll physically be on campus at work, so it’s much easier to go straight from a shift at work to the library, and working behind the scenes of your regular student experience helps you learn more about the university and how to take advantage of all of the opportunities offered.

A few of my good friends in the Art History program work at the Justina M. Barnicke Gallery, getting some curatorial and gallery experience while earning some cash, and use the experience they have there to relate it to their work at the Fine Arts Student Union and the Hart House Art Committee.  Another friend did a Work-Study Position in her college’s student life office, which helped her get enough know-how and experience to secure her summer position and score her a cool community-service placement in the fall. The cool thing is that working on campus doesn’t have to just be that thing you have to do so that you can afford your morning coffee. If you do your research and figure out where you want to work and what you want to do, it can be a stepping stone that will lead you to your dream job. (I mean, I don’t want to over-sell it. Maybe it won’t lead you to your “dream job” but it can lead to other cool opportunities which leads to other cool opportunities.)

Ok, so have I sold you on this yet? If I have, be prepared to start your job search immediately! I know that September still feels like it’s a long way off, but in the job hunt you have to start early! a great place to start your search is at the Career Centre. Click the “Student” tab and click on “Job Search.” (You’ll have to either register or log in to get to this next part.) From here, you can do an ‘Advanced’ search and only see the jobs on campus. I just did a quick search, and currently there’s not too many positions listed. But don’t despair! Not all jobs end up getting posted. Some of the major employers on campus are the libraries at U of T, the U of T Bookstore, The Faculty of Physical Education & Health, and Hart House. Check on their individual websites often to see if any new positions have been posted. Also, consider networking with your professors and course unions to hear about any research assistant positions as they become available!

The Work-Study program is provided through the Career Centre, for students who are eligible for financial aid. (And a little bird told me that the Office of Student Life will be posting Work-Study positions soon!) Keep in mind that you don’t have to necessarily qualify for OSAP! You just need to demonstrate financial need to the satisfaction of the office of Admissions and Awards.

The Career Centre also offers a bunch of services to help you GET the job, once you’ve found the job that you want. Check out their resume drop-in clinic and practice interviews to help get the confidence you need to nab the job.

Good luck!

Goodbyes, hellos, and an invitation: UpbeaT makes its seasonal shift

Hello everyone: Chris Garbutt here, manager of the UpbeaT project at Student Life. You’ve probably read all the goodbye posts from this year’s bloggers. It’s been a great year at UpbeaT. Week after week, our bloggers told you about the amazing things they’ve done on campus, and some of the involved, engaged people who are also doing amazing things at U of T. Thanks to Cynthia, Danielle, Dara, Lori and Shannon for all your hard work!

Now that we’re into a new session, I hope you’ll welcome Emily, our new summer communications intern at Student Life. She’ll be your UpbeaT blogger until the end of the summer, and will pick up where the regular UpbeaT team left off.

Work for UpbeaT!

lifeatuoft is a great blog to work for, and we’re now looking for curious, creative and committed new bloggers for the 2011-2012 school year. Apply for any of these positions:

lifeatuoft Writer: Proven writer, either in print or online.

lifeatuoft Multimedia Blogger: You love to tell visual stories!

Physical Activity Blogger: Create posts about physical activity and healthy living!

Writer/Videoblogger (International): Find creative ways to capture and convey the range of international experiences and opportunities available through U of T’s Faculty of Arts & Science.

Deadline for these positions is May 31 or June 1.

Thanks to all our readers, and enjoy your summer. Keep reading!

On The Summer Job Hunt…

Don’t allow yourselves to be fooled by how miserably grey it looks outdoors – summer will soon be upon us. Well, by “summer”, I mean the end of the 2010-2011 school year. And with the end of this semester comes, for many students, the need to be gainfully employed until September rolls around again. There is a wealth of information out there but when you’re beginning your job hunt, being overwhelmed by boatloads of websites, job-hunting tips, etc. is the last thing that you probably need. With that said – where’s a good place to start?

The university’s Career Centre is an invaluable resource. By signing up on their website, you’ll gain access to their database of available jobs – both internal (on-campus employment) and external (off-campus). The Career Centre is located on the ground floor of the Koffler Building at St. George and College, and offers job fairs, resume clinics, career and employment counselling, practice interviews,  and various workshops and seminars.

Also, when you sign in to the portal, click on the “Work at U of T” link (located on the bottom left hand corner of the portal home screen). This will lead you to the “Jobs @ UofT” home page. On the left side there are several more links to click on – the links most useful to students are the “UTemp” page, and the “Jobs For Students” page.

UTemp is the on-campus temporary employment agency for U of T students, and covers not just summer employment, but also casual vacancies throughout the school year. When you join UTemp, you will first have to fill out an on line application form, and upload a copy of your resume.

On a side note, although the Work-Study Program is not summer employment, it’s a great opportunity to work on campus. Positions run from September through March, and the application deadline is in October of each year. If you are interested in employment throughout the school year, keep an eye on their website for updated deadline dates. Remember that obtaining a work-study position may lower the amount of OSAP that you are eligible for.

Best of luck, and happy hunting!


The Career Centre’s Extern Job Shadowing Program

Happy Thanksgiving, dear readers! Hope Turkey Day is turkey-ful, or, if you’re vegetarian, food-ful!

As I’m enjoying this wonderful, school-free day (not really – I’m actually trying to finish my notes for my test next week, and trying to get started on four of my essays that are all due the same week in November, which I’ve appropriately named The Impending Week of Doom), I’m staring at the Career Centre‘s job postings for summer. Given that I am somewhat early, there are understandably few summer jobs available. (But some of the few that are there have applications due really soon, so if you want to work for one of those big companies with lots of steps in the application process – I’m looking at you, Procter & Gamble, and Shell – my advice is to start looking now.) As I scroll through the listings, I realize that there are quite a few jobs that I’d love to try, but have no idea if they’re right for me, or if I want to spend the equivalent of one semester (May-August) doing them.

As if right on cue, my email pings the arrival of an email from the Career Centre about the Extern Job Shadowing Program. And I think, oh right, it’s that time of the year!

Before I tell you what Extern is, I want you to think quickly: Have you ever been interested in a career, but you’re studying something completely different and have no idea what it’s like? Or have you ever just wanted to see what happens during a day in the life of a certain professional? This is essentially what you can do by signing up for Extern (it’s even free!).

Extern is a job-shadowing program offered by the Career Centre for currently enrolled U of T students, allowing them to explore a career by visiting professionals in the workplace. Extern happens twice every year, once during the February Reading Week, and another after final exams in April. As a participant, you get to shadow your sponsor in his or her natural working environment, observe his or her daily work activities, tour a number of departments, and meet with other staff to discuss the industry.

Last year, I was forced to go to I was at a social event of some sort and this person told me that he worked in international trade. After several minutes of conversing with him over some delicious tiger-shrimp cocktails, I came to the conclusion that 1) the shrimps were really, really good, and 2) well, he worked IT, but not that IT. Nonetheless, my interest was piqued, and when I got the same email from the Career Centre regarding the job shadowing program, I immediately signed up and put down “international trade” as my first choice.

I didn’t really know what to expect, but I got an email the next day telling me to stop by the Career Centre. Apparently, international trade is one of those careers areas where you really can’t job-shadow because of security reasons (you’ll see what I mean in a bit). Nonetheless, the people from the program somehow managed to get me a lunch interview at the U.S. consulate, and said, although you’ll only get a few hours, would you still like to go, Cynthia? Heck yeah I would!

I attended a mandatory orientation before setting off to the consulate. It was everything I needed to know. You get information on what to expect, what to wear, etiquette, how to write a follow-up thank you letter, etc. I learned basic business know-hows that were useful and applicable even after my placement. Now, given that I didn’t get a “normal” placement, I didn’t have to wait until February. I went to the lunch interview a few weeks after I applied to the program.

The morning of, I was jittery with anticipation and excitement. After all, I still had no idea what IT was, but I was going to find out. I Google-mapped the building and was there 20 minutes early. Which was good, because it gave me time to go to the bathroom to make sure I looked presentable in my pantsuit, and to buy a strawberry cream cheese bagel (toasted). Exactly 10 minutes before my appointment, I went up the elevator and as I got out, I stopped dead in my tracks.

The door was huge. And metal. Like, the kind of door you see in movies where the thieves try to get in to steal stuff. It was just as heavy as it looked. When I got in and looked around, there was a metal detector, and one of those machines with the conveyor belt that airports have, where they scan your bag to see what’s inside. On the other side of the room was a security guard behind a tinted-glass window and I was asked to turn over my ID and cellphone and any other electronic items I had with me (my iPod). Hooo boy, was I intimidated. See what they mean when they say “security”?

But then, the security guard emerged to show me to the conference room and he gave me the biggest, goofiest smile. Suddenly, laughter bubbled out of me and I felt quite at ease. When I got into the room, I got to meet all the interns (all recent grads) working there. They told me about the projects they are doing and I got to ask them questions. International trade turned out to be much more fluid than I thought, which was why I couldn’t really pin down what the guy who I was conversing with over tiger shrimps actually did. The interns all managed their own projects, set their own schedule, and got their hands dirty right from the start. One of them helped small businesses from the U.S. settle in Canada, and another worked as a kind of middle man for U.S. manufacturers seeking distributors in Canada. To be honest, the rest of the day was much of a blur, but my impression of it was extremely positive, fun and informational, and I’ve stored international trade as a career interest I can seriously consider later. I remember thinking, I can’t wait until my next extern!

According the Program Coordinator, Ron Wener, this year’s application is significantly different from those in previous years, so it is extremely important to go to an orientation even if you’ve done the program in the past. Says Ron, “The biggest change for this year is that we will be posting all available placements to students who register for the program. Students will then apply for the placements that they are most interested in and we will then match the students based on the criteria that sponsors have provided.”

Are you ready to apply? Let me take you to the Extern’s webpage, right here. It lists all the steps to apply for either the February or the April placement. It’s so comprehensive that it would be senseless for me to copy it verbatim.

What are you waiting for, dear readers? I’ve already signed up, so go! There’s no reason not to!

– Cynthia

Still looking for a summer job? Don’t despair!

Don’t have a summer job, but want one? I know a lot of you started summer job search as early as December, but some of you are still jobless, and I know – it’s almost half way through the summer months, and some of you are thinking, “Why bother?”, right?


There are still jobs out there. Summer job search isn’t over until the end of summer! For example, @jimmiutm for the UTM Career Centre Twitter posted about a resort position in Japan – applications are still open for a two-month summer contract.

But you don’t need to go all the way over to Asia to find a summer job. There are still tons of employers looking for immediate placement right here at home, at U of T.

Those of you on OSAP know about the work-study positions around campus during September-April, but apart from work-study positions, U of T also offers a lot of other work opportunities. For example, there are “casual positions” where you are signed to short-term contracts – summer jobs, in other words!

Take the Faculty of Physical Education and Health for example. They employ 6-700 students every year, and 130-140 of those are work-study. 80% of the people they hire are U of T students and they are the largest part-time employer on campus. If you go to the Career Centre website and do an advanced search under organization name for “U OF T – FACULTY OF PHYSICAL EDUCATION AND HEALTH”, you’ll see a list of part-time casual positions available, effective immediately.

I talked with Darcy and Ali, Manager of the Centre for Leadership Training and Education and Pool Manager at the faculty. They tell me that they offer an “extensive training program” to students they hire, where apart from a general orientation you attend when you first start work, you not only get scenario training specific to your job, you get hands-on practice, as well as workshops regarding equity and accessibility. They don’t just want you to work, they want you to learn and grow. Talk about fabulous work experience! And their wages are incredibly competitive. Depending on your qualifications, they offer upwards of $29/hr for the position of leadership clinic instructor! In fact, they will be doing wet screening for their aquatics positions on July 11th, so hurry over to the Career Centre website or to see what jobs are waiting for you!

If you’ve given up looking for a summer job, dust off your resumes and polish your cover letters. Look around – posters, signs, ads – to see what’s available, check websites for postings, and search the Career Centre for new listings every day. There are employers looking for you, right now. All you’ve got to do now is to find them, and present yourself. Good luck!

Summer Job Search

When I went home for the break in February, my father and I had a discussion about summer jobs. As someone who is looking for both skill development and money, he pointed out that this is the time to be applying for summer jobs.

January and February tend to be cluttered with application deadlines for summer job in both public and private fields. While many applications do extend into the March period, let me make something clear – if you are still looking for a job, you’d better get a move on.

March and April tend to be interview periods. Companies review applications, cover letters, resumes and take into account references, marks, skills and previous work experiences. Applicants are called in for interviews, and generally, by the end of March to Mid-April, you should be able to figure out which of the applications you submitted are serious job prospects.

Now, I do understand that finding a job can be tough – you want something that pays well, is a reputable company, and will develop your skills set. Many of you are aware of the Career Centre website that posts jobs – here are some important tips to keep in mind when reviewing and applying to the postings.

1. Job Description: The most important thing is to figure out what the job will entail. Many of the postings on the career center website are posted by regular citizens, who may be looking for a baby-sitter or even a grass cutter. The Career Centre doesn’t monitor the posts, so it’s important for you to make sure that whatever job you choose will ensure your safety.

2. Job Requirements: Applying for a job takes time and effort. If you are under-qualified for the job, don’t waste your time. This doesn’t mean you need to underestimate your own skills – if the job requirement asks for 5 years of experience, and you have three, you can realistically explain to your potential employer that your three-year experience well-equipped you for the job. Or if the job needs a CPR certificate, you can tell your employeers you’ll take a course before the job starts and produce your certificate at the beginning of summer (many courses are available). But if the job asks for certain certifications, like a Haircutting certification, or a paralegal degree, and you don’t have that, then put your application efforts to jobs that suit your current credentials better.

3. Check out the pay: I’ve always wondered if, when companies post their available jobs, they realize how important pay is to students and what a distinguishing factor is it when individuals apply to jobs. It’s important for you to know how much the job will pay you, so there are no difficulties when you start.

4. How many hours?: Just because the pay is good, doesn’t mean you’ll make a lot of money. If a job pays $18/h but only lets you work 20 hours a week, then you’re not better off than anyone else who making $9 (although, on the plus side, you get more time off). Hours are important. On the opposite side, if the job requires odd hours, early morning or weekend shifts, those are all important to take into consideration.

5. Date the Job starts: As a B.A. student, my skill levels tend to match everything from Administrative Positions to Camp Counsellors to Painters! An important factor to look out for is when the job starts – many jobs actually start in July, but pay minimum wages, which means you’re not making up the lost money in May and June. Look out for when the job starts, especially if it involved camps, schools, children, day-cares, or public services that are based on a seasonal schedule.

5. Location: Students sometimes forget that location is an important factor, because we’re so used to travelling to school everyday. Remember, unlike choosing classes, its tough to select your starting work time. For an individual like myself, it takes almost two and a half hours to get from the door of my house to the door of my Res, one way. If I have a job downtown, and it starts at 9AM, that means im leaving the house no later than 6:30 or 7AM to make it just on time. Getting up at 5:30 or 6:00AM everyday during the summer is not my cup of tea! So location and travel time are very important to consider. For individuals who don’t drive, access to public transit may be another important locational factor.

Good luck job hunting!

Until Next Week!